Leslie Lyons and JB Wilson (American), BANK (Unswept Floor series). 305 ceramic tiles, each 12 by 12 inches.
“Images of the $100 dollar bill in this work give a false sense of wealth as each bill contains the same serial number, while a singular $100,000 dollar bill—originally in circulation only between big banks—features a reproduction of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the legislation responsible for the current banking system in the US,” explain artists Leslie Lyons and JB Wilson, whose editioned porcelain tiles, BANK (Unswept Floor series), fills a portion of the floor in the lowest level of the 21c Durham building.
As a review of the first Unswept Floor notes, the work “converses with art history, making a direct reference to the Roman tradition of creating floor mosaics to capture an image of the detritus of a hedonistic bacchanal. Lyons and Wilson produce their tiles through a sublimation process that makes the image part of the material product.” Installed adjacent to the historic vault, Bank illustrates the transformation of the Hill building into 21c—from a single-purpose commercial space to a multi-use cultural center—as well as the evolution of the form and management of financial capital, from hard and paper currency safeguarded in stone skyscrapers by bankers to the ephemeral, digital files that are now maintained and exchanged through technology.